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Gender or count/mass
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The use of schwa to mark ellipsis is similar but not identical to the use of schwa as a marker of attributive agreement. The schwa in noun ellipsis is sensitive to the count-mass distinction, whereas attributive agreement is not sensitive to the count/mass distinction, but is sensitive to gender.

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The schwa is used as a general marker of noun ellipsis for countable objects. In case the adjective is preceded by a definite quantifier, the schwa is the only option. In case the adjective is preceded by an indefinite quantifier, the schwa competes with markers of noun ellipsis which specifically mark indefinite noun ellipsis. The use of the schwa for indefinite noun ellipsis may be an interference from Dutch. For indefinite noun ellipsis, Standard Frisian prefers the use of the marker -en (see: indefinite: -en) or -enien (see: Indefinite: -enien). An example of the marker of indefinite noun ellipsis -en is given below:

Example 1

In djoer hûs of in goedkeap-en
a expensive.NT house or a cheap.NE
An expensive house or a cheap one

An example of the marker of indefinite noun ellipsis -enien is given below:

Example 2

In djoer hûs of in goedkeap-en-ien
a expensive.NT house or a cheap.NE-one
An expensive house or a cheap one

The use of schwa to mark ellipsis is similar but not identical to the use of schwa as a marker of attributive agreement. More specifically, the difference between attributive agreement and noun ellipsis resides in the fact that noun ellipsis is sensitive (in the singular, of course) to the count-mass distinction, whereas attributive agreement is not sensitive to the count/mass distinction but is instead sensitive to gender. Because noun ellipsis in schwa does not pattern exactly with atributive agreement in schwa, noun ellipsis in schwa cannot simply be descriptively treated as attributive agreement in schwa. Analytically, the differences between the two may be derived from the empty nominal position that is present in ellipsis but not in attributive agreement. If the antecedent of the elided noun can be construed as a countable object, then the schwa is present, irrespective of the gender and number of the antecedent. The following minimal pair illustrates that attributive agreement may differ from noun ellipsis.

Example 3

Count noun
a. In goedkeap hûs
a cheap.NG house
A cheap house
b. (Twa djoere huzen en) ien goedkeap-e
two expensive houses and one cheap.NE
(Two expensive houses and) a cheap one

If the antecedent can be construed as a mass noun, the schwa is sensitive to the gender distinction between neuter and common nouns: the schwa must remain absent with neuter mass nouns (provided they are not preceded by definite articles or demonstratives). So, with mass nouns, the marker of noun ellipsis behaves like attributive agreement, as shown below:

Example 4

Mass noun
a. Djoer gebak of goedkeap
expensive.NG pie or cheap
Expensive or cheap pie
b. *Djoer gebak of goedkeap-e
expensive.NG pie or cheap.NE
Expensive or cheap pie

The following example is given for completeness' sake. It shows that a plural neuter antecedent, which is a count noun, can be connected to a construction of noun ellipsis that is singular:

Example 5

Singular noun ellipsis with plural antecedent
a. Inkeld djoere huzen? Ik ha in goedkeap-e sjoen
only expensive houses I have a cheap.NE seen
Only expensive houses? I've seen a cheap one
b. Inkeld djoere huzen? Ik ha twa goedkeap-e sjoen
only expensive houses I have two cheap.NE seen
Only expensive houses? I've seen two cheap ones

It is not the case that count nouns must be insensitive to gender. Remember that the sensitivity to gender only makes a difference in the neuter singular. If the antecedent is a countable object of neuter gender, there is a difference between spoken and written language. Spoken language will tend to use the schwa more than written language, following the count/mass distinction. The schwa so marks countable objects and disregards gender, disregarding the rules for attributive agreement. Written language, however, will tend to use the schwa less than spoken language. allowing it to be absent with neuter countable objects (provided they are not preceded by definite articles or demonstratives), so following the rules for attributive agreement. This is shown below for countable objects.

Characteristically used in spoken language, gender is irrelevant:

Example 6

In djoer hûs of in goedkeap-e ___
a expensive.NT house or a cheap.NE
An expensive house or a cheap one

Characteristically used in written language, gender is relevant:

Example 7

In djoer hûs of in goedkeap ___
a expensive.NT house or a cheap
An expensive house or a cheap one
References:
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